Requiem For My Resting Place
She was born to a flaky croissant mother and a winegrape father.
When her mother laughed, pieces of her fell off but it never encumbered her, never softened her gait.
When the volcano screamed, she would march to the top to ease its tears, and when the glaciers melted away she froze herself to put them back together.
The father was an alcoholic, but an artist, and though he passed out drunk nearly every night, in his slumber he would mumble psalms from his childhood, and they reverberated back to his daughter.
This girl would never feel the ache of true poverty, never see a parent stolen by the hands of disease or crime. She would never have to walk days to find shelter, and yet, she would never feel truly at home.
With growth, came fear.
Lingering a little too long in the flame of adolescence, her hair was singed with the romantic notion of sadness.
She first tried to kill herself at 11, but her mother heard the parrots weeping from miles away and came to save her.
By 13, her wrists were all but destroyed, the marks of pen caps and razor blades, glue guns and her own nails immortalized on her skin like photographs of a war long since ended.
Fourteen and fifteen were panic attacks and awkward silences, alien first kisses and animalistic bouts of early teenage rage. There would be two more suicide attempts.
Not a full step into sixteen, she was hospital beds and heart monitors, pills after pills, when the pills had been what destroyed her, chemical warfare under thin skin, 15, 20, 30 prescription doses coughed back before dragging herself to school to listen to robots spit foreign languages in her ears. Math, history, science, her experiment was burning alive and her hypothesis was finally, peace.
By 19, the manic morbidity was behind her, and her curiosity floated back to books.
She used her knowledge of lies to deceive candidates and CEOs into telling the truth.
Her newspaper columns garnered the attention of one brilliant publisher, and suddenly her whole life became draped in technicolor.
Now 27, a nervous salesman sold her a car and later that week was buying her concert tickets. By their wedding day, she could lead him into a giant spiderweb and he'd be happy to live as an insect if it meant he could fly in circles around her forever.
At 34, her books made the New York Times bestseller list, though she found it funny that they called her rusty chain-linked stories memoirs.
55, and they have two beautiful children, a mechanic who could break the lock to anyone’s drooping scowl and solder it into a full-toothed smile. And a swimmer, a muscled warrior of a daughter who brought up from the bottom of the ocean seashells and stories that made fisherman laugh and museum curators bow at her feet. Her mother always told her she was not a work of art, for art can be destroyed, no she made the art and that made her much more powerful.
By 63, her husband has taken to playing music without leaving his bed because his knobbly knees could not hold the weight of an electric guitar. She is not surprised when at 78, his obituary cites him as a true legend, not just for his music but for his compassion.
By 80, she is happy to knit from her rocking chair, refusing silly canes and cumbersome wheelchairs. She tolerates the oxygen plugs in her nose because it reminds her of being high back when her husband was the guitarist in a rock band.
In the end, she does not write a note, because she has spent decades
telling everyone she loves what they mean to her..
In her will, she leaves her body to the earth, so that she may create life through her degradation.
She leaves her hair to the sparrows so that they can build a nest through which no wind could knock a hatchling from the tree.
She leave her eyelashes to her children, so that they may learn that even the useless can be made beautiful.
And she leaves her eyes to the willows because she fears that these trees, though stronger than bones and older than rock, may never get to see the landscape they’ve created.
In her last few days, there is no white room, no beeping heart monitors or bandages swadling her arms, as if they are babies who know not how to nurture themselves. There is no weeping father or crying mother, they have been taken peacefully decades ago.
In her last few days, there will be swirling clouds and dandelions, earthworms and heavy, measured breathes. Because this is how death is supposed to be. Still, and natural. Like coming home.